The logistical problems with grounding aircraft and pilots

The current situation caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis is unprecedented for everyone — including commercial aviation. Around the world, airlines are scrambling to do what they can to save their businesses. To save as much money as possible, thousands of flights are being cancelled.

This makes sense when aircraft would only be carrying a handful of people, but what happens to the aircraft and pilots when they’re not flying?

Parking aircraft

Where to put them?

The first conundrum airlines need to solve when parking up aircraft is where to put them. Not only do they have to think about the current situation, but they’ll also be thinking about the end game. How can they get aircraft up and flying again when needed and as quickly as possible?

For the world’s larger airlines, there may not be enough gates at their hub airports for all their aircraft to park up at the same time. They rely on a large proportion of the fleet to be airborne at any one time. This is why you’ll often find yourself waiting for a gate if your flight arrives early. It’s often a case of one out, one in. As a result, alternative solutions need to be devised.

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